Bille August to direct psychological drama The Pact
- The new feature by the Danish filmmaker centres on the secret relationship between Karen Blixen and young poet Thorkild Bjønvig
Danish award-winning film and television director Bille August is now working on his new feature project, entitled The Pact. The Breed-born helmer is best known for his 1987 drama Pelle the Conqueror, screened at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival and recipient of the Palme d’Or, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, among other honours.
The Pact, penned in its entirety by Christian Torpe (Blackbird, Silent Heart [+see also:
film profile]), is based on Thorkild Bjørnvig’s autobiography of the same name. The psychological drama tells the story of the intense relationship between Danish author Karen Blixen, best known for her autobiographical novel Out of Africa, and Bjønvig, a young and promising poet. Speaking about the film’s themes, August said: “The Pact is a relationship drama, the eternal story of seduction and wanting to be seduced, of the art of manipulation, of guilt and innocence, of a highly unusual friendship between two deeply talented people, which develops into a fateful bond. It is a dramatic tale of a dangerous pact and of the unmanageable consequences of an inevitable dependency relationship, a thrilling connection between two of Denmark’s greatest personalities.”
Bjørnvig and Blixen met for the first time in 1948, when he was 30 and she was 63. In those years, Bjørnvig already had a wife and a child, but nonetheless formed a secret, turbulent bond with Blixen, who fascinated him. Twelve years after Blixen’s death, Bjørnvig wrote his autobiography on which the film is based.
Blixen’s Out of Africa was adapted by Sydney Pollack into a film of the same name back in 1985. That picture starred Meryl Streep as Blixen, Robert Redford as English nobleman Denys Finch Hatton and Klaus Maria Brandauer as both Baron Bror von Blixen and Baron Hans von Blixen. Moreover, a feature and a miniseries are currently being developed by Nordisk Film, based on two books written by Danish historian Tom Buk-Swienty.
The Pact is being produced by Jesper Morthorst (Blackbird, Britt-Marie Was Here [+see also:
film profile]) for Copenhagen-based firm MOTOR and Sweden’s SF Studios, which is also in charge of its world sales. The film will be ready for theatrical release in early 2021.
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